I’m not going to lie, the only comic book I ever got involved with was Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season Eight. But that doesn’t mean checking out a new series isn’t fun. We have so many other avenues of horror culture at Horror Society (artwork, music, fashion) that really do need to be explored more. I think Dead Meat is the perfect induction into the world of horror comics!
Thanks to the graciousness of Clayton McCormack, I was able to read the first arc of Dead Meat, issues 1 through 3 called This Town Ain’t Big Enough. The comic itself is written and illustrated by Clayton McCormack and Dead Meat follows several characters – more so the group fronted by a man named Walker – as they travel through a world infested by zombies in search of several developing mysteries, to the reader of course.
So where do I start with my first comic book/graphic novel review?
Well, let’s start with the story because I think that’s what is the original aspect that draws people into anything. The synopsis behind Dead Meat is really standard, at least in the first arc. This Town Ain’t Big Enough is hopefully setting up locations, introducing characters, setting up dynamics between characters, and developing story points. Again, standard, but it becomes clear midway through the first few chapters that the zombies aren’t the only threat out there. Here’s hoping the “developing mysteries” I mentioned start to be revealed in later issues. Also, this is the first time I’ve ever heard of the Dead Meat series. Going from never hearing of it before to reading the first three issues, I must say the story was very easy to understand and keep up with. Although Clayton was able to articulate it better than I did, I wanted to let our readers know that if you become a reader of his comic book, you can pick it up immediately and be able to stick with it.
Up next: the coloring/art work. I don’t know if it’s because I was reading the .PDF version, but the panels all seemed bigger to me and with greater detail. I must say, I was very impressed with the panels, and the illustrations in Dead Meat have topped the little I have seen from other people’s comic books. As with all art forms, being able to draw a comic book takes a lot of dedication and superb talent, which Mr. McCormack definitely has! The colors used the most (as you can see in the cover above) are blacks, whites, greys, reds, and light hints of blues. This is a very realistic representation of what the world would be like post-zombie apocalypse. Multiple, bright colors usually gives off the sense of life and happiness…and you won’t find that in Dead Meat. Dead Meat is just a brutal, brutal world and the lack of colors and flavor conveys the mood and atmosphere perfectly.
Can a comic book/graphic novel be palpable? Can a comic book/graphic novel be so good that it comes to life in your head? Sure it can! With the perfect combination of elements executed cohesively, Dead Meat starts to take on another life of its own. You find your mind leaving the pages behind and it starts to come alive in your head. Take for instance the character of Madame Magdalene, the woman who owns the bar called Heaven. While reading her pages in the comics, I could hear her voice in my head – a deep, raspy voice, probably damaged by years and years of over smoking. Was anything like this ever revealed about Madame Magdalene in the comic? Nope. But maybe that’s why comic books are such joys to so many people. They have the ability to come to life while you read and you can help create the character for yourself as you continue reading.
Is there any doubt that I enjoyed reading the first three issues of Dead Meat? I’m completely certain you guys will enjoy it too. Dead Meat, its separate issues, and volumes can be purchased on Graphicly [click here] or for your Kindle [click here]. There is no question in my mind as to why Dead Meat won Best Web-Comic in 2011. Also, a series of short films are being released to Youtube based off of characters in the comic. Make sure you give them all a look-see by [clicking here]. Dead Meat releases new content on a weekly basis, so I’m positive this will not be the last I see of it! Make sure to keep up with all the madness on Facebook by [clicking here].